State troopers have been called in to get Oregon’s Republican senators back to vote on a climate change bill, but all 11 senators are in secret locations apparently interstate. No vote can take place on anything without at least one of those senators being in the chamber to vote.
ABC News USA.
Eleven Republicans refused to show up to work on Thursday and went into hiding in protest of HB2020, a bill that establishes a carbon cap, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Industries that emit carbon dioxide — power plants, manufacturers, etc. — would have to buy an “allowance” for each metric ton emitted, thereby reducing the incentive to produce carbon dioxide in the first place.
The goal of the bill is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 versus 1990 numbers.
It’s a question of democracy: On the one hand, if Oregonians voted for this draconian cut, they ought get it. On the other, the Republicans are incensed and want a democratic solution — a state wide ballot. The legislation is such a disaster for a large proportion of Oregon’s voters that Republicans feel this is their only option. It’s a version of a filibuster.
So let’s give the people a real debate and a real vote and end the stand off now. What are the democrats afraid of?
Democracy on the rocks:
Democratic Governor Kate Brown then authorised state police to try to locate them.
…petrol and diesel prices are expected to go up. Republicans say these changes will disproportionally affect rural Oregonians, like farm workers and loggers. They argue the plan should be referred to a state-wide ballot so “every Oregonian has a voice”.
Democrats hold 18 of the 30 seats in the state senate, but 20 senators have to be present for a vote to take place.
This is the second time they have recently walked out – winning concessions on gun and vaccination laws after another incident last month.
Other boycotts have also been known to happen elsewhere, including by Wisconsin Democrats in 2011.
The senators are being ordered to pay $500 (£390) each for every day they are absent. An online fundraiser to pay their fines has so far raised almost $38,000 (£30,000) as of Sunday.
h/t Ibbogram, Pat, David B.